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CAMACOL food basket giveaway helped hundreds of families in need

Hundreds given holiday food baskets at CAMACOL distribution
Hundreds given holiday food baskets at CAMACOL distribution 00:45

MIAMI - Hundreds of South Florida families will enjoy a nice holiday meal thanks to a long-standing Miami tradition.

But this year, things are a bit different.

In years past, thousands of people would line up for days for a chance to get a hearty holiday feast for their family from CAMACOL, the Latin Chamber of Commerce.

But the process has changed somewhat.

First thanks to Covid, and now, due to inflation and supply chain issues.

On Wednesday, cars lined up before dawn in Little Havana for the CAMACOL food basket giveaway, an annual tradition now in its 37th year. 

"We have a lot of families that will have a nice Noche Buena meal thanks to CAMACOL and the sponsors," said Pedro Mesa with event sponsor SEDANO'S.

700 families received enough food to feed a family of 6, including a pork shoulder, side dishes and drinks.

"It is much needed, particularly at this time when so many people are hurting because of inflation," said City of Miami Commissioner Manolo Reyes.

This year, CAMACOL was able to help 200 more families than last year, but nowhere near as many as in years past, when people would camp out for days to get one of the roughly 3,000 food baskets distributed.

Organizers say that's due to supply chain issues and inflation.

"As you can see, there is great need in Miami," Reyes said. "Miami is not that glamorous place that people think it is. South Beach or Brickell Avenue. There's a lot of working people that are not making enough money."

"They bring together so many great companies that donate food, beverages, their time and their holiday spirit to help people get through these times," said Miami-Dade Mayor Danielle Levine-Cava. "And everybody in line is so grateful."

Also unlike years past, there were no vouchers given out ahead of time, so this was on a first-come, first serve basis.

We're told City of Miami Fire Department did a tremendous job making sure the line ran smoothly and safely. 

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